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DNR marks Arbor Day with events across Michigan

The Department of Natural Resources has planned a full schedule of Arbor Day programs throughout the state on April 26-27. Guests are invited to join state park and visitor center staff for family-friendly outdoor programs that celebrate the many benefits of trees. Visitors can:

Discover some of Michigan’s biggest trees growing in some of the state’s grandest parks;
Cut out a tree cookie; or
Take home a seedling to plant in the backyard.
Anyone who’s ever wondered what kinds of bugs are bad for Michigan’s trees (and how they got here) or how to identify one kind of tree from another will get the chance to learn all of this and much more at the following DNR programs:

Carl T. Johnson Hunt and Fish Center at Mitchell State Park in Cadillac
Friday, April 26, at 3 p.m. and Saturday, April 27, at 1 p.m.
Join an outdoor hike and learn about Michigan’s northern forest and the trees that inhabit them.

Eddy Discovery Center at Waterloo Recreation Area in Chelsea
Saturday, April 27, 2 p.m.
Kids will learn about the people who work in the forest, from forest managers to loggers and scientists to naturalists, and then compete in a role-playing game to win prizes.

Gillette Visitor Center at Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon
Saturday, April 27, 11 a.m.
Join park staff on a forest discovery hike, explore the forest community of the park and learn about the many challenges tied to forest health and pests.

Hartwick Pines State Park Visitor Center in Grayling
Friday, April 26, all day
Take a guided hike through the Old Growth Forest Trail, visit the tree identification clinic, and learn about forest management.

Ludington State Park in Ludington
Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Activities will range from guided walks to crafts and presentations on invasive plant and animal species that threaten Michigan’s natural resources, plus a guided sunset beach walk along Lake Michigan and a look at the night sky.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park near Ontonagon
Saturday, April 27, 1 p.m. ET
Take a guided hike into some of the park’s old-growth forest in search of big trees. The hike will venture into a trail-less area of the park where measurements of large hemlock, cedar, sugar maple, yellow birch and other trees will be taken.

Saginaw Bay Visitor Center at Bay City State Recreation Area near Bay City
Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Join a guided hike, learn about woodlot management, find out how to protect trees against pests, create a “tree cookie” and take home a free tree seedling.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park near Paradise
Saturday, April 27, 5 p.m.
Take part in a guided hike and learn about some of the threats to Michigan’s forest. Finish the evening with dinner at the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery, featuring meal specials for hike attendees (and the brewery’s famous Fruit of the Forest pie).

Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center in Mattawan
Saturday, April 27, 11.a.m.
Discover the richness of Michigan’s forest ecology and more through hands-on activities and a walk through the nature trail.

Further details about each of these programs are available on the DNR website’s Celebrate Arbor Day with the DNR Web page.

There is no cost for these events; however a Recreation Passport is required for entry into the state parks and recreation areas.

The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking “YES” for the $11 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, nonmotorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. In addition, Recreation Passport holders can enjoy real savings at businesses and retailers that participate in the Passport Perks discount program. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($30.50 annual; $8.40 daily) at any state park or recreation area or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.

Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan’s outdoor recreation and natural resources at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport. For information on Passport Perks shopping discounts or how businesses and retailers can enroll in the program, visit www.michigan.gov/passportperks.